Did you know that March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month? This class of disabilities can refer to impairments in learning and behavior, such as autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and impairments in physical and/or intellectual functioning such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and Down Syndrome. The campaign seeks to raise awareness about including people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life. It also creates awareness of the difficulties that people with disabilities still face in fitting into the communities in which they live. Here is a helpful timeline of how March became National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month:
- 1810: Jean-Etienne Dominique Esquirol sets up a compassionate asylum for people termed, "insane"
- 1848: Dorothea Dix advocates for mental illness reform and helps establish 2 hospitals for the mentally ill in North Carolina
- 1876: Six medical professionals come together to setup what would later become the American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)
- 1987: President Ronald Reagan designates the month of March as National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month